In Brief: Berlin’s new coronavirus treatment center now ready to be used for the ‘worst case scenario’

The new clinic in Berlin-Charlottenburg has room for 500 patients - though capacity can be doubled if needed.

 

By Sylvia Cunningham, Benjamin Restle and Monika Müller-Kroll

Berlin Senator for the Interior Andreas Geisel says a growing number of Berliners are becoming weary of COVID-19 measures.

His remarks during a committee meeting on Monday came after a weekend of protests across Germany, including here in Berlin.

Geisel said demonstrators are a “strange mix” of people from the far-right and far-left, conspiracy theorists and vaccination opponents. He said though the groups have little in common politically, they’re connected by the “lowest common denominator” of acting out against the measures in the belief that they are protecting their basic rights.

In Berlin, no more than 50 people are currently allowed to demonstrate, and only if they adhere to social distancing rules.

***

Munich’s Institute for Economic Research (IFO) reports that nearly one fifth of German companies slashed jobs in April due to the pandemic.

Restaurants, hotels and travel agencies are among the businesses in Germany that made the most drastic cuts to staff, according to the institute’s latest survey.

Meanwhile, employees in other sectors, including construction, pharmaceuticals, and real estate have largely been spared.

But the institute also found that job cuts varied by region. In Bavaria and Baden-Württem­berg, two of the states in Germany with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases, there were nearly double the amount of layoffs than in states like Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate.

***

After four weeks of construction, Berlin’s new emergency clinic for coronavirus patients is ready for operation.

The treatment center in Berlin-Charlottenburg has room for 500 patients – though capacity can be doubled if needed.

At the official opening on Monday, Health Senator Dilek Kalayci said the new facility was designed for the worst case scenario, if Berlin’s major hospitals end up full, something that has not happened so far.

Officials say the treatment center was built sustainably so parts can be taken and reused by hospitals later.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

For up-to-date information on what you should be doing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, check our fact sheet. 

Whether it’s our coverage of the coronavirus, rent freezes or more light-hearted subjects like Berlin’s pandas, you can count us for factual and informative content. We are the go-to source for the English-as-a-common-language community in Berlin and beyond. The pandemic will challenge us to find new ways of doing reporting, but we will continue to bring you the programming you love and news you can trust. We are a listener-funded public radio station, driven by donors like you. So please consider donating today to keep us on air, online and in your community.